Vong War Annals – “Wedding presents” 5.22.08

Twelve hours earlier

             “General,” Jim said, carrying his own glass of champagne, “they’re looking for you downstairs.  Something about needing more pictures with the families.”
            Derik managed a hint of a smile behind his long-grey beard.  “Is Aly Drake still holding onto Davil’s arm in a submission hold to keep him from running out?”
            Jim smiled and nodded, stepping beside the older man at the viewport.  “For the moment.  It’s a nice little party going on down there, despite…”
            Derik just nodded.  “I promised Cay I’d behave myself.  Take a look at this.”  He handed a datapad to the Dashan’s commanding officer, the back of it emblazoned with the 4th Fleet logo.
            Jim read what was on it and the color drained from his face.  “What….how….?”
            Derik took the datapad back and slipped it inside his uniform jacket.  “About thirty minutes ago.”
            “Then why haven’t there been alarms going off?  We should be on red alert.”
            “We will be, in time.  My people intercepted it first.  Don’t worry, Karen knows about it.”
            “But…four combined battlegroups….”
            Derik nodded.  “Comprising sixty-five percent of our fighting force, and our wayward general.  The war just turned really ugly, Jim.”
            Jim heaved a heavy sigh.  “Then why are you sitting on it?  We need to do something.”
            Derik turned and looked back out at the stars.  “Because tonight is their night, and I’m going to make sure it stays that way. But that doesn’t mean we’re not doing anything.”
            Jim turned and looked where Derik was looking, and his eyes widened.  “You’re already re-deploying the fleet.”
            Derik nodded.  “And doing it quietly.  In the morning, we’ll be ready to do something about it.  But for tonight…”
            “Tonight is their night.”
            Derik smiled and nodded, finishing the last of his champagne.  “If you’ll excuse me, I believe it’s time to go continue to pretend I like Mike Bullian.”

– General Derik Bel Iblis, the Wyvern
   Father of the groom

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